Bi-monthly Newsletter No. 10 March/April 2005


“Partners”

William L. Rinehart, Chairman
Los Angles Police Historical Society

The word “partner” particularly in the Los Angeles Police Department takes on a special meaning. From our first day on patrol and for every day thereafter we know this is the person we can depend on and must protect. The bond that is created is only exceeded by the vows of marriage (and some might even debate that). The Historical Society is privileged to have three very valued partners in the Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL), the Los Angeles Police Federal Credit Union (LAPFCU) and the Los Angeles Police Revolver & Athletic Club (LAPRAAC). I wanted to acknowledge the rich and diversified historical past of our valued partners and my first article focuses on LAPRAAC.

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The Los Angeles Police Revolver & Athletic Club (LAPRAAC)

Near and dear to the hearts of nearly all Los Angeles Police officers is the time they spent at 1880 N. Academy Drive; socializing with partners, competing in intramural sports, working out, or eating at the café. It is with great pride that we take visitors to the Academy for lunch and a tour of the Rock Garden. This historic location and operation is truly unique not only in law enforcement but to the City of Los Angeles. How did it all happen? In 1931 a handful of Los Angeles police officers envisioned that with the support and involvement of the Chief of Police, James Davis, an organized training program could be established for every Los Angeles Police Officer. A centralized and secure location in the Elysian Park, Chavez Ravine area was

identified for possible use and permits were obtained from the City to occupy over 20 acres and the Los Angeles Police Pistol Club (now known as the LAPRAAC) was founded. In 1932 the Olympic Games were held in Los Angeles and the pistol shooting competition took place at the Los Angeles Police Pistol Club (LAPRAAC) range and following the conclusion of the Games, the United States Olympic Organizing Committee donated the buildings to the Los Angeles Police Pistol Club that had been part of

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Ofcrs. Hyde & Phillips in
gymnasium training, 1948

the Olympic Village in Baldwin Hills. These buildings remain the core of the Academy as it is today. As the years progressed, police officers became more involved in the maintenance of the Academy grounds. Over time, theentire staff, including cooks and gardeners was sworn police officers. Trustees assisted in the maintenance of the grounds, also. Trustees and off duty LAPRAAC members were also responsible for building the beautiful Rock Garden which is now a City historical landmark on the Academy grounds.

Most police officers remember taking a loved one on a tour of this beautiful location, which is still considered a highlight of the Academy grounds. As the Club continued to grow and become active in the sparsely residential area of Chavez Ravine, an elderly lady became one of LAPRAAC’s great benefactors enabling extraordinary expansion as she deeded the 3.7 acres of land that is now the tiered parking lot, from the west curb, west, to beyond the hillside obstacle course. Wonder what the value of that property is in 2005 prices? 1936: Enter Training Division. As LAPRAAC continued to grow and become more and more involved in the training of LAPD officers, the importance of police officer training became obvious. That year a relationship between LAPRAAC and the City of Los Angeles was established…then through a simple handshake agreement. LAPRAAC would permit the City to use all of its available buildings and the City would take over all police officer training and the responsibility of facility maintenance. (Continued below)

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Leaping the wall at the Academy, 1940


museum

 

During the course of a recent telephone conversation, I was asked to identify the assets held by the LAPM museum. Not long after I had listed our historic uniforms, cars, badges and sundry artifacts I realized the listing was incomplete. What should have received prominent mention was the museum staff. I was fortunate enough to have spent the month of January with outgoing Executive Director C. David Dalton, one of the museum’s prized assets. Dave led the historical society through the good times and the bad, opened the museum’s doors and successfully reached out to the Department and the Highland Park community. With what I now know typically goes on with the historical society and the museum, I had to hit the ground running. In these first few months, it has been soggy ground, and unfortunately soggy walls and ceilings, too. Dave and I slogged around the roof and the museum grounds attempting to mitigate the damage. In some cases we were successful, in others we succumbed to the deluge. Day-to-day operations have not been significantly effected, but we have sustained a substantial amount of damage. With the assistance of Councilmember Antonio Villaraigosa’s office, we are currently navigating the disaster relief application process. Between the torrents of rain, the historical society staff has been busy moving forward with some important projects. In a cooperative effort with Scientific Investigation Division,

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Christine Johnson is carried to safety by LAPD invetigators after she fled the burning home.

What’s Happening At Old Number 11?

By: Glynn Martin, Executive Director

the Bomb Squad, Video Unit and the District Attorney’s office, we continue to plan and acquire material for the permanent Symbionese Liberation Army exhibit. The Department retains custody of a series of weapons recovered in the aftermath of the 1974 Newton Division shootout. The District Attorney’s office holds a volume of evidence and material pertaining to the attempted bombing of LAPD black and white police vehicles. It will take some time to acquire these materials. The story this case promises to tell will be worth the wait. The “business” of law enforcement is not always recognized as being childfriendly. When school groups are considering a visit to the museum, we are often asked about firearms and graphic depictions of violence. We consciously consider these concerns, and have factored these into display and exhibit decisions made in the past. Nonetheless, police equipment holds a continuing fascination for children of many ages. We are in the unique position of providing children an opportunity to climb aboard an LAPD helicopter, and crawl into the V100 armored vehicle. Yet the interior of the museum is decidedly non-tactile. To continue promoting interest in the department with school children, we are acquiring out-of-service gear the children can touch, or tryon. Heavy ballistic vests, blast shields and bomb blankets were passed on to us by the bomb squad. These along with other items from our collection compose a solid variety of items that kids can use and “Gear up to be a cop.” The initial feedback from our focus group (my son and daughter) was extremely positive. Much of this material will be on display by press time. To develop and expand exhibits like this one, we find ourselves with flush interesting

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A woman and children hurry away from the gunfight as a SWAT officer covers their flight to safety.

photographs and artifacts. What we often lack, however, is an appropriate means of displaying our wares. From within our own LAPD community and the museum community, we have found ourselves as the beneficiary of some distinct acts of kindness. Retired Detective Wayne Horton, the current Director of Security at the Norton Simon museum, recently coordinated the donation of archival flat file cabinets and a number of high quality display cases. The cabinets and cases were sorely needed and will enter museum service immediately. Our thanks to Wayne and the Norton Simon for thinking of us. World class museums like the Norton Simon and the Getty Center have always answered our calls for help. Tracey Schuster, the Head of Special Collections at the Getty, has volunteered to assist us with our extensive photographic archive. The Getty Center has graciously loaned Tracey to us with the hopes that we will better be able to catalog and preserve our holdings, and ultimately provide better service to our members and guests. Tracey and the Getty are deserving of our thanks as well. For this edition, the final words of thanks go to Directors Tom Hays, Joe Bonino, Dan Watson, Bill Rinehart and of course Dave Dalton. Their individual and collective insight has made the transition phase seamless and effective. There are a number of exciting projects on tap for the coming months, none of which would be possible without their commitment and action.


MUGSHOTS: William Rinehart

When members of the Department decide to retire, many enjoy the spoils of their years of hard work. Travel, recreation and the full-time pursuit of leisure activities are often the new retiree’s first order of business. Not so with Bill Rinehart. Bill retired as a Lieutenant II in 1983. Since that time, Bill has developed a number of profitable business enterprises, including MeritPro Employment Screening where Bill is the current president. More importantly, Bill is the newly installed Chairman of the Board at the Los Angeles Police Historical Society. Bill began his Department career in 1962 as a Policeman assigned to West Los Angeles. Policing Los Angeles in the sixties held a unique set of challenges. Many believed the Miranda decision would spell the end to effective police work. It didn’t. Anti-war activities and demonstrations taxed Department resources. Then midway through the decade, the Watts riots broke out. More historical events followed. The assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, the Black Panther shootout, and the nefariousness of the Manson family closed a decade of great tumult. Through it all though, the LAPD persevered. “Fortunately, Chief Parker had engrained

professionalism deeply into the Department, he and Gates were my personal favorites.” With the new decade came a new role in Bill’s LAPD career. Bill was promoted to sergeant, a move that found him a place in television history. As a Public Affairs supervisor in the early seventies, Bill was tasked with a new project. While working for the Department, Bill was assigned as a technical advisor to a television series starring Kent McCord and Martin Milner, Adam-12. The actors portrayed Central Division Officers Reed and Malloy as they patrolled downtown Los Angeles. Since Jack Webb demanded a high degree of accuracy in his movie and television productions, Bill reviewed all phases of the program, ensuring the show was indeed lifelike and believable. From this truly unique assignment, Bill returned to serve the Department for another decade, retiring as a Lieutenant II in 1983. In retirement, Bill became an executive in the private security industry before striking out on his own. Today, as the president of his own security consulting and employment screening firm, Bill remains active in his community by serving on the LAPM board and Board of Directors of Oakmont Country Club.

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Having successfully raised three children with his lovely wife of 37 years Diane, and built two companies, he became a member of the LAPM and was recently elected to Chair the Board of Directors. In assuming this vital role, Bill recently observed, “A lot of good work has been accomplished by many in creating the historical society in a relatively short period of time. We deeply appreciate the achievements of the directors and volunteers.” To guide the LAPM, Bill has established goals to increase the involvement of the directors, governors and volunteers, while increasing our membership and fundraising efforts. Undoubtedly the most important goal, however, involves the active and retired members of the LAPD. As chairman, Bill would like “To give every member of the Department the opportunity to support and share with pride the rich history of the Los Angeles Police Department.”


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“Partners”) The LAPRAAC bylaws were amended to include the Commanding Officer of Training Division as the Operations Officer of LAPRAAC, giving the City a voice in LAPRAAC operations. Along about 1980, Training Division Commanding Officer, Captain Tom Hays, would display much of the history of the LAPD by decorating the café with memorabilia from the archives. Not coincidentally, Tom continues to be very active on the Historical Society Board. The spirit of cooperation that exists between Training Division and LAPRAAC has been cultivated by more than 60 years

LAPRAAC Motorhome, 1972 International Police Memorial 2000 Mile Cross Contry Relay Mexico to Canada

of shared visions and respect. LAPRAAC’s Mission is to encourage the highest level of professional law enforcement skills by providing athletic, educational, marksmanship, physical fitness, facilities, recreation and social activities to benefit all members of the Los Angeles Police Department. We are very pleased to have the Los Angeles Police Revolver & Athletic Club and all of its members as valued partners and look forward to a continuing our mutually beneficial relationship. I would like to thank long time LAPRAAC employee Barbara Ginn for her assistance with this article.

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